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Diuris recurva facts for kids

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Mini donkey orchid
Conservation status

Priority Four — Rare Taxa (DEC)
Scientific classification

Diuris recurva, commonly called the mini donkey orchid is a species of orchid that is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has one or two leaves at its base, up to six small pale yellow and brownish flowers and grows in winter-wet places between Badgingarra and Kalbarri.


Diuris recurva is a tuberous, perennial herb with one or two linear leaves that are 100–150 mm (4–6 in) long, about 5 mm (0.2 in) wide and folded lengthwise. Up to six pale yellow flowers with brownish to dark burgundy-coloured markings, 16–20 mm (0.6–0.8 in) long and 12–16 mm (0.5–0.6 in) wide are borne on a flowering stem 200–300 mm (8–10 in) tall. The dorsal sepal curves upwards, often backwards and is egg-shaped with the narrower end towards the base, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long and 7 mm (0.3 in) wide. The lateral sepals are linear to lance-shaped, green or reddish, 9–12.5 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long, about 2 mm (0.08 in) wide, turned downwards and usually crossed over each other. The petals are more or less erect with an egg-shaped blade 10–13 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long and 4–6.5 mm (0.16–0.26 in) wide on a greenish brown stalk 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long. The labellum is 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and has three lobes. The centre lobe is spatula-shaped, 3–4.5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide and dark reddish brown with yellow patches. The side lobes are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 3 mm (0.1 in) wide and curve backwards. There is a single raised, ridge-like callus along the mid-line of the labellum. Flowering occurs in July and August.

Taxonomy and naming

Diuris recurva was first formally described in 1991 by David Jones from a specimen collected near Northampton, and the description was published in Australian Orchid Review. The specific epithet (recurva) is a Latin word meaning "recurved", referring to the petals and lateral sepals that are curved backwards.

Distribution and habitat

The mini donkey orchid grows mostly in winter-wet heath between Badgingarra and Kalbarri in the Avon Wheatbelt, Geraldton Sandplains and Jarrah Forest biogeographic regions.


Diuris recurva is classified as "Priority Four" by the Government of Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife, meaning that is rare or near threatened.

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